Kaytlyn Coleman, Emma Murillo, and Aaron Cunningham become multiple event qualifiers at the Cougar Invitational
The Eastern Washington University track and field team attained three more Big Sky Conference qualifying marks at the Cougar Invitational on Saturday (April 25) in Pullman, Wash.
The meet was hosted by Washington State at the Mooberry Track and Field Complex. The Eagles battled a mixed bag of weather conditions to improve on many personal and seasonal bests – including two new top-ten best marks.
Kaytlyn Coleman qualified for her second event in the shot put with a personal best of 46-5 1/2 to rank fifth all-time at Eastern. She also had a mark of 164-4 in the hammer throw.
Aaron Cunningham also had a successful day in the shot put, earning his second qualifying standard with a personal best of 52-6 3/4. He also placed second in the discus with a mark of 154-6.
Emma Murillo's winning toss of 179-7 in hammer throw qualifies her for her third event at the championships. She also placed third in the javelin with a mark of 138-9.
Jordan Arakawa picked up the win in the hammer throw with a monster season-best of 215-2, inching him closer to his personal best of 219-3. This is the third meet in a row the senior has eclipsed the 200-foot mark.
In the javelin, freshman James Swanson threw a lifetime best of 186-11, just missing the Big Sky qualifying standard of 187. Swanson's season best entering today's competition was 163-3.
Cody Humphrey earned the victory in the discus with a toss of 162-3 – he also placed second in the shot put (53-3 1/2). Humphrey has qualified in both of those events previously this season.
The women's 4x400-meter relay made up of Erika Lombardo, Paige Hammock, Leiran Cornish, and Brooke Monson ran a season best time of 3:53.46 to rank tenth in school history.
Jeremy VanAssche, Nick Anthony, Blair Bomber, and Brad Michael won the men's 4x400 with a season best time of 3:16.28.
Monson and Hammock also had solid performances in their individual events. Hammock ran a personal best in the 400-meter hurdles of 1:03.96 – just missing the Big Sky standard of 1:02. Monson broke the 25-second barrier for the first time in her career in the 200 with a personal best time of 24.96. Monson placed first in the 200, followed by Lombardo in 25.09.
The men's distance crew also put together a number of solid performances, beginning with Dallas Snider's personal best of 1:56.54 in the 800.
Vince Hamilton led the way for the Eagles in the 5,000 with a winning time of 14:53.86 – followed by Stephen Bottoms in 14:56.14, a new personal best.
With one meet left in the regular season, 15 women and ten men combine for 37 total marks. The last shot for the Eagles to qualify will be next Saturday (May 2) at the Oregon State High Performance Meet in Corvallis, Ore.
The Big Sky Conference Championships will be hosted by Eastern on May 13-16 at Roos Field in Cheney, Wash.
Additional Top Performances: Men
Andrew Morgan (High Jump, 6-3 1/4)
Blair Bomber (400, 49.51)
Jeremy VanAssche (100, 10.70)
Austin Upmeyer (200, 22.20)
Austin Oser (5,000, 15:11.74)
Aaron Brenton (5,000, 15:15.63)
Additional Top Performances: Women
Tierra White (High Jump, 5-3)
Michaela Chucka (1,500, 5:04.62)
D'onna Robinson (Shot Put, 43-5 3/4)
Kelsie Forcier (Discus, 142-6)
Morena Mannucci (Triple Jump, 38-9 3/4)
Morgan Romey (Shot Put, 45-1)
Quoting Head Men's Coach Stan Kerr
"Today's meet showed the great resiliency in this team. I was proud of the efforts put forth in what was a challenging day weather-wise. The on again, off again rain, gusty winds, and an occasional glimpse of the sun created tip-top opportunities for our athletes to adapt – which they did with several personal bests."
"Individuals shined in many event areas. Jordan Arakawa put together a commanding performance in the hammer. James Swanson may have caught himself off-guard with a big throw in the javelin, and Aaron Cunningham had the best shot put performance of his life."
"The distance crew continues to gather momentum as we near the conference championships. The 5,000 crew, led by Vince Hamilton and Stephen Bottoms, looked more and more ready to make big waves in the Big Sky."
"I continue to be impressed with the grittiness of our sprinters. In particular, the 4x400-meter relay raced one other squad but executed a race plan that gave us a season best time."
"The meet marked a milepost in our season. Sadly, some of our athletes may have seen their outdoor season come to an end. On the flip side, many of our athletes will now start their final push training wise to the conference championships and potential post-championship competition. It was a great day for Eagle track and field."
Quoting Head Women's Coach Marcia Mecklenburg
"It was great to compete on WSU's track. It is such a nice facility."
"The athletes continue to improve as we hit more personal records and another couple of Big Sky standards. Emma Murillo threw a season' best in the hammer and qualified for conference. Kaytlyn Coleman hit a season's best in the shot put, also qualifying for conference."
"Our sprints crew continues to come through with solid performances. Brooke Monson ran her first sub 25-second 200. When you run in the 24's in the 200, you have reached another level. I am so proud of how our sprinters are doing this year. The Big Sky Conference is getting stronger and stronger in the sprints and our crew is refusing to get left behind."
"Overall, it was a good day for EWU track and field."